High school connecting students and employers


With the end of the school year in sight and summertime on the mind, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School hosted its annual job fair for students and Island businesses this week.

On April 3, hundreds of Island students gathered in the MVRHS gymnasium, and Island businesses — in hopes of connecting with the younger generation and hiring new employees — set up informational booths. With nearly 60 Island businesses participating, the fair provided a wide array of opportunities, from trades and landscaping to retail and law enforcement.

The West Tisbury Police Department was on hand looking for new recruits. “We offer a foot in the door if [students] want to do anything in law enforcement,” officer Bradley Fielder said.

Susan Dostal with Martha’s Vineyard Bank said they were looking for summer workers as well as students who might be interested in a career in banking. “We are looking to fill some summer positions. [But] for kids who might not be going into college or who are choosing to stay on Island, we offer a lot of different career opportunities and options,” she said.

Many students took the opportunity to grab an application. “I’ve liked meeting with all these different community members and having meaningful conversations about their impact and what they’re doing across the Island,” senior Huck Moore said.

Huck, who will be majoring in chemical engineering at Yale University this fall, was offered many job opportunities that fit his educational and career interests. One in particular, a job in the offshore wind industry, caught his attention. “Vineyard Wind stood out to me,” he said. “I like what they’re doing with the wind farms, and their search for renewable energy.”

Some students at the fair already had summer employment, but were interested in the offerings anyway, including MVRHS senior Rebecca Mandelli. “Seeing how many Island opportunities we have for Islanders and youth on the Vineyard is amazing,” the senior said. “It’s cool to see that they prioritize Vineyard youth as employees.”

Organizer and business teacher Paul Angelico has been in charge of the job fair for the past three years. “Kids need jobs and Island businesses need employees,” he said about the intentions of the annual event.

“We have a lot of kids who are interested in the offerings, a lot of kids who already have a primary job but are looking for a secondary job, and some underclassmen looking for their first job,” he explained.

For Courtney Atkins of M.V. Community Service’s Chicken Alley thrift shop, the job fair served not only as a networking opportunity, but as a great community engagement opportunity to connect with younger audiences. “What I’m seeing I’m getting from a lot of these employers is ‘We’re here for you guys, we want you guys to do cool things, we want to provide opportunities for this community,’” she said.

Cherish Harris, representing local jewelry business Stephanie Wolf, spoke to their offerings in art and retail. “I had some great kids interested in what we do, especially because we hand-make the jewelry at our studio,” she said.

While they did offer a number of jobs for students, Morning Glory Farm was also glad to simply interact with students. “It’s a great opportunity to meet with Island people who might be interested in farming at some point in their lives — It doesn’t have to be this year, but we hope to plant that seed in people’s minds.” said Ryan Hassle, a field crew manager at Morning Glory.